It should have been a no brainer—passing into law a bill aimed at improving public safety. Instead Bill 32: Enhancing Safety on Alberta Roads Act turned into a roadmap for bad governance culminating in a motion that the government was in contempt.
What did the government do to kick up such a stir? Three things actually: (1) it issued a press release touting the new Bill before it had been introduced in the Legislature, (2) it held a press conference outlining the Bill to the media before it had been introduced in the Legislature and (3) it engaged in an advertising campaign by erecting billboards emblazoned with the banner “Alberta Government, Building Alberta: Enhancing Safety on Alberta Roads (Bill 32), Honourable Alison Redford, Premier”, which was retweeted by Transportation Minister McIver’s press secretary before the Bill had been introduced in the Legislature.
You’re picking up my theme here, right?
It’s a matter of good governance and respect for the Assembly that the government provide the Opposition with a heads-up before a bill is splashed about in the media and in the public arena.
In fact, good governments have “technical meetings” with the opposition parties to bring them up to speed on proposed legislation before its introduced in the House. Technical meetings were a matter of course in the pre-Redford days, but appear to have fallen by the wayside as she stampedes legislation out the door.
As shocking as this may sound, even a majority government cannot assume that every bill it proposes will be passed into law—just look at how quickly Doug Griffiths’ amendments to the Municipal Government Act (Bill 28) went off the rails.
So here’s the big question. Ms Redford could have waited a couple of days to table Bill 32 and then mount her PR campaign. If she had the Opposition would have been helpless to stop her. So what’s the rush?
Pick an answer from the ones listed below or send me your comment in the comment section:
(a) Premier Redford is desperate to convince PC delegates that she’s made progress in her first year as premier and should be reconfirmed at the leadership convention on Nov 23.
(b) The PCs have been in power so long they know how to rule but have forgotten how to govern.
(c) All of the above
And the correct answer is…..?